Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Boy, get up, there's no dinner for you!

Talking of bad experiences, it's hard to miss this one. In Malayalam there's one phrase, "to wake one up and tell there's no dinner". I had a chance to figure out how bad it is, thanks to Al Italia.

It was about three years back, about an hour past midnight. Flight for Milan took off from Mumbai airport. I had not had dinner that night and was hungry, but more than that I was tired and sleepy, so I fell asleep even before the flight took off.

The the air hostess woke me up and said it's dinner, I was irritated that it disturbed my sleep but was happy I was getting to eat something. After about five minutes, she came and told me sorry sir, we have run out of dinner. Presumably everyone else in the flight got their meals. Including my friend who was traveling with me. We were on the last seat, we were students and we did look like students.

The Milan-Mumbai flight experience was even worse. It was afternoon, and I was served vegetarian meals. When I asked for non-vegetarian meals, they first told me they ran out of non-veg meals. When I told them I just saw someone else (who look white) asking for a non-vegetarian meal and she got it, the air hostess started arguing with me, then she asked me for my boarding pass to confirm I had indeed opted for non-vegetarian meals. And then they got me the non-veg meal.

The difference in the manner in which they treated similar requests from me and the foreign lady suggested that I was at the wrong place. I did not expect that on an international flight. That, along with the previous experience, convinced me that I shouldn't travel Al Italia again if I'm given a choice. [I didn't bother to file a complaint, as I didn't feel it was worth it.]

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